Justin de Verteuil
Planet Caravan

Mar 8th – May 31st, 2024
López de la Serna CAC, Madrid

Copyright the artist; López de la Serna CAC, Madrid; Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf; Photo López de la Serna CAC

Planet Caravan by Justin de Verteuil presents a multifaceted introduction into the oeuvre of the Trinidadian contemporary painter. Opening Thursday, March 8th, 2024, the exhibition is de Verteuil’s debut presentation in Spain and remains on view through May 31st, 2024.

Justin de Verteuil’s allegorical oil paintings are characterised by the compositional tension between proximity and distance and embody a masterful command and balancing of colour. Led by an intuitive rhythm and logic, his subtle assemblages embody a distinctive approach to figurative painting and landscape compositions, capturing situations emblematic of contemporary and timeless phenomena.

We sail through endless skies…
Referencing the cult classic song from Black Sabbath, known for its intense atmospherics and mind-arresting lyricism about floating through the universe, the titular work of the exhibition Planet Caravan tempos the spirit of the presentation.

A body is captured in abeyance, dispersed centrally in the pictorial space of sumptuous warm tones which envelop the sparse scene. Mellifluous, yet ambiguous, the figure is layered upon reduced motifs of the everyday, whose familiarity is gently placed in question: a hammock becomes allusive of angelic wings, a deep cloud of darkened blue hues enfolds the figure against the all-encompassing fiery sky, almost as if they were being subsumed into interstellar depths, whilst one is left surmising if the structure in the background is truly a reference to the physicality of a bridge, or if something rather more psychological is being materialised here. The figure, contorted and in motion, could be flying, falling or in simple somnolent suspense: in irresolvable movements and ambiguity, memories, biographical moments and narrated stories meld to form a dream-like sequence whose peace seems to be precarious.

Copyright the artist; López de la Serna CAC, Madrid; Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf; Photo López de la Serna CAC

The work is emblematic of de Verteuil’s assemblages of the painted field, in a manner which fuses discordant corporeal and cognitive phenomena. Firmly anchored in present-day life—photographically recorded moments from travels and daily life serve as a template—his artistic process is instinctive; his works strike a balance between drama and stillness reminiscent of early gothic iconography, whilst remaining hypermodern through their mundane, familiar references. The diversity of works comprising the exhibition display de Verteuil’s adept methodological maneuvering and weaving of the tradition of painting into new, transcendent, and often seemingly impossible composites.

Much like its namesake, the exhibition Planet Caravan showcases the lush, chromatic ability of Justin de Verteuil to cultivate diverse, evocative pictorial and emotional scapes beyond the realms of the earthly mundane. While fascinating with their colourfulness, luminosity and mysteriousness, de Verteuil’s works summon sensual responses to the tensions between the world’s simultaneous ordinariness and unfamiliarity.

Justin de Verteuil (b. 1990) is a contemporary painter from Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, living and working in Düsseldorf, Germany. 2023 saw his breakout into the international art scene with a painterly practice that freely draws on biographical cues, exploring the entanglement of relationships and dynamics of colour, figure and space. Notable exhibitions to date include Sweet Odour, ADZ, Lisbon (2023); Nexus, Caprii by Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf (2023); and Bernheim x ADZ Gallery: Group Show, Bernheim, Zurich (2024).

Copyright the artist; López de la Serna CAC, Madrid; Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf; Photo López de la Serna CAC
Copyright the artist; López de la Serna CAC, Madrid; Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf; Photo López de la Serna CAC
Copyright the artist; López de la Serna CAC, Madrid; Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf; Photo López de la Serna CAC
Copyright the artist; López de la Serna CAC, Madrid; Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf; Photo López de la Serna CAC
Copyright the artist; López de la Serna CAC, Madrid; Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf; Photo López de la Serna CAC

About Justin de Verteuil

Justin de Verteuil (b.1990) is a Düsseldorf-based artist whose figurative paintings capture situations emblematic of contemporary and timeless phenomena.